Travel Daily spoke to Pimpawan Khasuwan — Cluster Director of MICE Groups at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit,Bangkok — to get the expert’s perspective on how to develop the perfect client relationship.
Communicate open and honestly. We love positive feedback but honest and constructive feedback is essential. Our hotel team is very experienced at handling all types of events, both small and large, but we never stop learning and improving. And there are very few things we can’t fix if we know about it before it is too late.
2. Over communicate.
Provide as much information as early on as possible and don’t worry about overloading the hotel with details. More is better. It helps with planning but also gives us a better understanding of how we can best provide the support you need. And maybe even give you a heads-up on where we see challenges and how we can provide solutions to overcome them.
Don’t shy away from delivering bad news. We know not every customer will award their business to us because every group or event has different needs. We will always do whatever we can to meet all expectations but, realistically, this may not always be possible. Just be truthful, we can take it! Telling us an event is not going ahead when a different hotel was in fact chosen is not helpful and we will usually find out anyway.
4. Local Knowledge
Use us as your eyes and ears on the ground. You would be surprised at the kinds of things we are able to help with. Destination information and team building suggestions of course, but also things such as getting quotations from local print shops so you do not have to ship your conference programs, ideas for local giveaways, or assistance with Fast Track at the airport for VIPs. With our fantastic location right next to the BTS Skytrain and steps from the MRT underground we often get asked for help with transportation passes. No problem. We even have a special offer that includes just that.
Bonus tip – Give and take.
A real partnership can only be built when both the customer and the hotel work together to create an outcome that is good for both. Hotel sellers are people too and we will go the extra, extra, extra mile when we are being treated fairly and with respect. You do not get the best out of us when we feel bullied. I have been at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit for more than 15 years and many customers have become friends. Their friendship is now in a way more important than their business; I will do whatever it takes to keep that.